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appreciate the beauties of English literature. The higher intellectual faculties are scarcely concerned at all in the ordinary routine of a schoolboy's education; and all that constitutes real strength and activity of mind may grow as much in a single year, when once excited into vigour, as it had done in all the years preceding. Thus it may be true that the study of a single year may have a higher educational value than the hard labours of a dozen years spent in the customary scholastic drill. And, if the truth must be told, hard labour is not the chief occupation of our public schools. They turn out men, and it is to be wished that this element were not altogether overlooked even on an examination system ; but scholarship is by no means their strong point.
It has also been objected that English is peculiarly liable to be crammed' for examination purposes; and the term cramming' is used in so many senses that it is not easy to answer an objection that has no definite meaning. Wherever there is an examination there must be some method better than others of preparing for it, and this has often been stigmatised as cramming. If it be meant that students can be more easily prepared in English than in any other subject to answer well without studying hard, this assertion cannot be admitted without proof, espe
cially in a country where hundreds of respectable scholars earn their living as professed crammers ? in classics and mathematics. Against 'cramming' in the sense in which all must condemn it, as a kind of intellectual sleight of hand by which ignorant men can be passed off for learned, there is one effectual remedy, in the nature of the examination to which they are submitted. A perusal of the examination-papers in this book will show, that what is usually understood as reprehensible cramming' will not be of much service to the candidate; and unless the character of the examination alters materially for the worse, the student will find his best preparation not in any ingenious cramming, but in honest study and in vigorous intellectual effort.
The present work is intended to guide candidates in their preparation.
The study of English has been so recently elevated into prime importance, that students and even in some cases their tutors have felt somewhat at a loss how to proceed : and, more generally than is supposed, the candidates are left to work for themselves without assistance or advice. An attempt is therefore made in this work to suggest some useful methods of study. The various questions proposed have been printed as the best index of the extent to which the stu
dent must carry his reading; and as very great difficulty has been felt in knowing exactly the kind of answers required, four of the papers have been answered in full, in the manner in which, it is believed, they ought to be answered. It will, of course, be understood that the answers are not intended to contain all that might be said on the subject; minute points are omitted, and novel theories are not noticed ; above all, brevity has been studied, both because it is essential where the time for answering is limited, and because extreme prolixity and vagueness are the prevailing sins in examination-papers. A very few hints on composition have been appended; and the subjects actually given at the examinations have been added, that the candidate may know what is expected of him in this department.
CHELSEA : January 1866.